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The New Food Lover's Companion Paperback – September 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 830 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 4 edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764135775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764135774
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.9 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This fourth edition of a standard guide (formerly called Food Lover’s Companion) revises many existing entries and expands the total number of entries to 6,700.  It is essentially a dictionary of various ingredients, from herbs and spices to wines and desserts. It also includes a plethora of terms about cooking techniques. Entries are arranged in alphabetical order and vary in length from a couple of lines to a couple of pages. Each includes a definition and sometimes an explanation of the topic as well as pronunciation of the term. A 70-page appendix covers all sorts of interesting and useful information and helps make the book worthwhile just for the extras: ingredient equivalents and substitutions; high-altitude adjustments and boiling points; conversion formulas and charts; important temperature information for grilling, frying, and baking; seasoning suggestions; a food-additives directory; and several meat charts. The volume concludes with a bibliography. The entries, found between abalone and zwieback, vary from the pedestrian daily variety of food items, like coffee, flour, and spaghetti, to the rare and exotic, such as berbere (an Ethiopian spice), mojama (salt-cured tuna from southern Spain), and a Tom and Jerry (a hot drink made of beaten eggs, hot milk or water, a type of liquor like brandy or bourbon, and sugar and spices, with nutmeg sprinkled on top).  The Herbsts have written several other culinary best-sellers, including Cooking Smart (Harper, 1992), The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide (Broadway, 1998), and The New Wine Lover’s Companion (Barron’s, 2003), to name a few. If you don’t have this book for your collection, it is surely time to add it, as the previous edition was regarded by Bon Appétit magazine as “one of the best reference books” and “a must for every cook’s library.” At such a reasonable price, this book is a mandatory purchase for any library supporting a culinary program and is highly recommended for all other academic and public libraries. --Christy Donaldson

Review



Praise for previous editions.
"From 'abalone' to 'zwieback,' Sharon Tyler Herbst lists nearly 6,000 culinary terms in the newly published third edition of her classic Food Lover's Companion. Hands down, it is the ultimate accessible cooking and dining reference book."
—Mat Schaffer, Boston Herald, March 2001

"The New Food Lover's Companion is an updated version of this amazingly comprehensive encyclopedia of everything you ever wondered or will need to know about culinary terms and ingredients. My old copy is more dog-eared than any favorite cookbook, and referred to almost daily...Dedicated foodies can't do without it."
—Susan Miller, The Home Monthly, May 2001

"If there's a culinary reference book that foodies reach for more often than Food Lover's Companion, we don't know what it would be. This mimi-tome is brimming with useful information on thousands of foods and terms, from abalone to zwei-back—including pronunciations (ZWI-bak, ZWI-bahk, SWI-bak, SWI-bahk). No surprise that the book has sold mor than 1 million copies since its debut in 1990...The new edition has 6,000 terms and a larger appendix. We especially like the pasta chart, which lists more than 100 pastas (with, thank goodness, pronunciations). Also added is a broadened pan substitution chart, expanded listings on soy foods, and more ethnic foods."
—Renee Enna, The Chicago Times, June 2001

"If you don't have this book for your collection, it is surely time to add it, as the previous edition was regarded by Bon Appétit magazine as 'one of the best reference books' and 'a must for every cook's library.' At such a reasonable price, this book is a mandatory purchase for any library supporting a culinary program and is highly recommended for all other academic and public libraries."


Booklist, January 1 & 15, 2008





From the Associated Press article "A Book Worth Devouring"





"You, too, can be an expert, for less than 20 bucks.





Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst's Food Lover's Companion has served as an indispensable reference to the food world since the first edition was published more than a decade ago. It's a bible for food writers, and it belongs in the home kitchen, too.





An updated forth edition with more than 6,700 entries recently was released, continuing the tome's tradition of helping home and professional cooks make sense of myriad techniques and ingredients.





As valuable as the dictionary-style entries that form the core of the book are the appendices, which include a pasta glossary, a guide for reading food labels, illustrated charts depicting cuts of meat, and substitution and measurement charts."
Associated Press

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Customer Reviews

This book is a must in the kitchen.
Janelle Earl
It's set up almost in a dictionary style with food definitions/uses/histories/etc. and an appendix with conversion charts, substitutions, etc.
mb
I have purchased this book 4 times (3 of which were previous editions) to give as gifts to my friends and they all loved it!
eLoWeeZ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Uitlander on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most fascinating reference books I've stumbled upon in a long time. The 6700 plus entries cover everything imaginable used in food preparation. Most are non-English in origin, but a good phonetic translation is provided. The terms are not just European; this book is loaded with Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and regional U.S. terms. The descriptions may run to several paragraphs- much more than a dictionary provides- though many of these words are too obscure to appear in any other source. Furthermore, it's compact enough to be carried in a coat pocket or handbag. If you eat in foreign restaurants even occasionally, this book will pay for itself in a month. (Your waiter will not know how most of these dishes are made.) It is not a recipe book, but it contains every culinary term that has ever seen print. If you are a novice in the kitchen, you may learn what many cookbooks assume you understand. Also, the appendix is loaded with all sorts of useful metrics and categories. The Herbsts' have compiled an indispensible source for anyone curious about what they eat.
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50 of 60 people found the following review helpful By AlexanderBanning on January 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
This reference has been lauded in many venues, and it truly is a fascinating resource. However, after spending time examining the book (4th ed., 2007), I am noticing several entries that are out-of-date. For example, the entry on brains does not mention mad cow disease. In contrast, the latest _Joy of Cooking_ (2006) not only notes this, it also warns readers to avoid eating brains for that reason. As another example, several entries in the bibliography refer to older editions of books that now have recognized newer editions. Take, for example, the listing of _La Methode_ and _La Technique_, both by Jacques Pepin. These two works have been combined and published as _Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques_. As a third example, the appendix on food label terms does not list trans fats in the listing of different fats found on food labels. All of these examples make me wonder about things I haven't caught. I hope that all of this information is updated and corrected in a fifth edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DZ on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the first edition of this book almost 20 years ago and found it to be an amazing resource that I continued to use to the present day. I recently thought to myself, "I wonder if they have updated it since then?" Well, I checked Amazon, and the authors indeed have updated it (currently 4th edition). This new version is literally twice the size of the original book, which already seemed comprehensive. Of course, there have been new trends, fads, and other developments since the early 1990s and the Herbsts have addressed them.

Whenever I hear about a fruit or spice or dish that I never heard of before, the first thing I do is check the book! I have moved around to different parts of the US and as I discover regional delicacies, the book is a great resource to learn more about them. I highly recommend it.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
MORE INFORMATIVE. MORE EVERYTHING. I OWN ALL THE OTHER EDITIONS. THIS IS THE BEST YET.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By eLoWeeZ on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
IMO, every food lover out there should get this book. It is a great reference and very useful for just about any food related terms out there. I have purchased this book 4 times (3 of which were previous editions) to give as gifts to my friends and they all loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chef Rob on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ask any serious professional in the culinary field and they will openly admit that they have one of these or at least have used it in the past. One of the best open reference books on food ever put together that I consistantly use as a teaching tool for quick reference from metric conversion and butcher diagrams to obscure inclusions of exotic ingredients. Everyone aspiring to cook professionally or serious home cooks should have this on their shelf. On a side note...I really like that they make the exterior tough for repeated use and size it for hands-on use, on the go. Hope this helps!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. J. Parpart on October 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I work in the restuarant business and this book is a highly recommended source for all things food related. Our executive chef recommends it for crossing the chasm between culinary institutional talk and layman's terms that you can share with your customers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dick Whiting on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the quintessential food reference guide. It does not explain methods and recipes in detail -- this is not a cook book. This is a quick reference book that is invaluable in a commercial kitchen, hotel, or on the bookshelf of a hardcore culinarian. It provides in depth explanations for some of the most obscure foods and culinary products throughout the world. If you are an adventurous chef or eater that is constantly trying new things and runs across new ingredients, this is the concise lookup for all you will stumble upon.
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